You know i would go with Toro i think the Craftsman products have lost some of the famouse quality in recent years. I just looked at some Toro models and i believe they could be the best products avalible. Expensive yes - but i am using the Toro blower that was purchased by my late father in the mid 1980's and it works great. I was looking to replace it only to get out of the 2 stroke and into a a 4 stroke motor.
Just had to replace my 1975 Bobcat Snow blower last winter. That thing would throw wet snow over the telephone wires! It just started to get too hard to keep running after all those years so I junked it and replaced it with a 1985 model Honda. The Honda works good but it just isn't the old Bobcat. I guess my using antiques doesn't answer your question at all.
This snowblower is a Chinese knock off, with a 24" blade, and a 8.5 horse engine, that a few of my friends picked up for $499, plus tax. It is from a new company in Chino, Ca. These friends advise it has more power and a better snow adjustment chute that Craftsman's plastic chute.